If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished … But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead.
Questions surrounding death and dying have faced mankind ever since the fall: “What will happen when I die? Will I go somewhere when I die, or is this it? Is there any significance to my life? What does it all mean?”
All of Scripture is timelessly relevant, and it provides answers to these questions. Paul, for example, addresses the issues of resurrection and eternal life in 1 Corinthians 15. Without the resurrection, he says, our faith would be in vain. Our salvation would be false, for we would still be living in sin. Death would prove to be stronger than God. Jesus’ claims would be untrue: He would not be Lord, and He would not be returning. History would have no goal or purpose, and the human race would be going nowhere.
Since that’s the “reality” in which unbelievers live, it’s no wonder there is so much angst in our world! But the Christian can say, “Hey, not so fast! Don’t say that history is going nowhere and all is meaningless! Consider the resurrection.” We believe Christ rose from the dead and promises each of His followers full resurrection—not a resurrection only of soul but one of body and soul (1 Corinthians 15:42-49).
John Locke, the 18th-century British philosopher, wrote of Christ’s resurrection that it is “truly of great importance in Christianity; so great, that his being, or not being the Messiah, stands or falls with it.” It is the resurrection that proves that Jesus is who Scripture claims He is, the resurrection that seals our salvation, and the resurrection that transforms our lives. You can visit the burial sites of Buddha’s ashes, Muhammad’s body, and Gandhi’s urn, but the tomb of Jesus of Nazareth is an empty one. Belief in the resurrection is the narrow gate through which we enter, and it’s the only one that leads to life (Matthew 7:13-14). All our hope hangs on this fact: Jesus is alive!
Because of this hope, we can say that this life is not all there is; it is simply the appetizer, the first course. Shadows fall on our greatest successes on this earth. We lose loved ones. We’re confronted by sin. Even our best days leave us longing for something more. But the fact is that we are only preparing for a day yet to come, when these former things will pass away and the new, resurrected kingdom will come. The resurrection of Jesus is what gives purpose to all you do today, and comfort in all your trials, and hope for all your tomorrows.
1 “A Second Vindication of the Reasonableness of Christianity” in The Works of John Locke, in Nine Volumes (Rivington, 1824), 6:341-42.
Devotional material is taken from the Truth For Life daily devotional by Alistair Begg,